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    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 62.

    December 05, 2019



    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 62:
    Coal Dust - Part 1.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 62:
    Coal Dust - Part 1.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 62:
    Coal Dust - Part 1.

    In this episode Peter Knott, occupational hygienist with GCG Consulting joins host Mark Reggers for the first of a two-part series to discuss coal dust.

    Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal which is created by the crushing, grinding or pulverising of coal during mining, handling and transportation. Coal dust exposure is hazardous to mine workers, placing them at risk of developing a dust-related lung disease, in particular, Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), commonly known as ‘black lung disease’.




    Guest Bio:

    Peter Knott (pictured left) is a Certified Occupational Hygienist and has been a full member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists since 1994. His experience spans a wide variety of industries having been employed in aluminium smelting and fabrication, power generation, mining and technology sectors in Australia and overseas. He currently provides consulting services in Occupational Hygiene to a range of clients in Australia and internationally.

    Peter has represented industry bodies on Australian Standards committees for workplace atmospheres, respiratory protection and hearing protection. He has published or presented on a variety of topics such as exposure standards, biological monitoring, respiratory and hearing protection, diesel particulate matter, bioaerosol transmission and provided technical direction into the development of a recently patented aerosol monitoring instrument.

    Peter has tertiary qualifications in Chemistry, Environmental Health and Epidemiology, and is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Newcastle.

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    In this episode, part 1 of 2, Mark & Peter discuss the following:

    • Why has Coal Dust has been in the news headlines in recent times, especially in Queensland and NSW?
    • What is the difference between inhalable and respirable coal dust? Is one type more hazardous than the other?
    • What are the adverse health effects that can be a result of high coal dust exposure?
    • How much exposure does it take to affect your health?
    • Can health surveillance or monitoring be done for those who may be exposed to coal dust?
    • Is underground longwall mining or open cut mining dust exposure more hazardous than the other?
    • How prevalent is health surveillance when it comes to identifying these diseases?
    • What about for those workers that have coal dust exposure along the coal supply chain?
    • What are the key takeaways you want to leave for our listeners today?
    • Where can listeners go to get further information on Coal dust?

    Coal mining can be a dangerous activity, producing dust from its mining and handling operations that are hazardous to workers well-being. Coal dust particles can be inhaled placing operators at risk of developing a range of lung conditions and related health problems, particularly black lung disease. There is no specific treatment or cure for black lung, it all boils down to how much you’re getting exposed to and for how long, the higher the level of exposure, the greater the risk. Tune in as we look at the topic of coal dust and black lung disease and discuss the monitoring, controls and respiratory protective equipment required to bring exposure levels down to as low as reasonably practicable.


    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.